Crime - Sacto 911

Owner of El Dorado County tax preparation business sentenced in $9 million refund scheme

The owner of a tax preparation business in El Dorado County has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for conspiring to file more than 250 false refund claims with the Internal Revenue Service.

Teresa Marty, 57, of Pollock Pines was sentenced Wednesday in Sacramento for activities that resulted in the IRS paying more than $9 million in false refunds, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release. She and her cohorts also were accused of filing millions of dollars in liens against IRS officials and prosecutors investigating the case.

In addition to the prison term, Marty was ordered to serve two years of supervised release and to pay $9,500,492 in restitution to the IRS.

Marty was the owner of Advanced Financial Services, a tax return preparation business in Placerville. According to court documents, she conspired with Pamela Harris, her office manager, and Rebecca Bandera-Marty, a California certified tax preparer, to file tax returns claiming more than $60 million in refunds.

Marty and Harris recruited clients by telling them that they could legally receive large refunds by filing tax returns using IRS Forms 1099-OID. AFS prepared false forms reporting the clients’ debts as income and the same amount as income tax withheld, resulting in significant claims for refunds to which the clients were not entitled, the news release said.

The scheme included clients from 26 states and resulted in the IRS paying more than 40 tax refunds, totaling more than $9 million. The IRS listed the use of false Forms 1099-OID on its website as one of the “dirty dozen” tax schemes for the years 2009 through 2014. Clients of AFS have been prosecuted in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Oregon and Washington for filing false claims for refunds that Marty and AFS prepared, the news release said.

Marty, Harris and Bandera-Marty were indicted in June 2013 along with two clients, Charles and Victoria Tingler. Marty and the Tinglers, with the help of Harris, retaliated by filing fraudulent multimillion-dollar liens against government officials, including three IRS employees involved in collecting taxes the Tinglers owed the IRS as a result of the scheme, the news release said.

Marty filed $84 million in liens against the then-acting U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California and a former Department of Justice Tax Division attorney involved in filing the suit to enjoin Marty and AFS from preparing tax returns. Harris and Marty also hired a collection agency to enforce a $500,000 false lien that Charles Tingler filed against an IRS officer.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy